WASHINGTON — Going into the U.S. women's gymnastics team finals at the Tokyo Olympics, hopes were high for one of Team USA's biggest star athletes.
Simone Biles bowed out of the competition early after what seemed to be an unusual major misstep on the vault.
While it was unclear what exactly happened during Biles' performance, one announcer on NBC's live stream coverage speculated that it appeared she seemed to have gotten "lost in the air."
The vault she was attempting requires a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by 2 1/2 twists. Biles instead did just 1 1/2 twists with a big leap forward after landing.
Afterward, she sat down and talked to U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin, then headed to the back while her teammates moved on to uneven bars without her.
USA Gymnastics soon came out with a statement saying Biles experienced a "medical issue" and had withdrawn from the team finals but would be "assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Biles is scheduled to defend her Olympic title in the all-around final on Thursday. She also qualified for all four event finals later in the Games.
Biles encouraged her fellow teammates after making the decision to step aside, hugging them and saying, "I'm sorry, I love you guys, but you're gonna be just fine."
"You guys have trained your whole entire life for this, it's fine. I've been to an Olympics, I'll be fine," Biles could be heard saying during the TV coverage.
The day before withdrawing from the gymnastics team finals, Simone Biles opened up on social media about the pressures of Olympic competition, saying she feels like she has "the weight of the world on my shoulders at times."